January 13, 2011 Subject:
Book's Copyright Status
Hello. As one of the author's grandchildren, I've been asked by the Archive's Collections Service to post a quick comment outlining my understanding of this book's public domain status.
This book was first copyrighted in 1962; in the original copy I own, the copyright page indicates the book being copyrighted by my grandmother, and not by her publisher.
It is my understanding of United States copyright law that books that were first copyrighted between 1923 and 1963 had to be renewed 28 years after the year they are first copyrighted, or else they became public domain books.
The Stanford Copyright Renewal Database is an online website that "makes searchable the copyright renewal records received by the US Copyright Office between 1950 and 1992 for books published in the US between 1923 and 1963."
It has no record of anyone - either its original publisher (Harper & Sons), my grandmother herself, or anyone representing her interests -- renewing this book's copyright in 1990.
As a result, it is my understanding that this book entered the public domain in 1991.
Informally, I know of no descendant of hers who has expressed any displeasure in her book being made freely available online by the Internet Archive, and at least one (my mother) who has directly indicated that she's pleased at its availability there.